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Archive for the category “USA”

Tesla Announces 1 Million Mile Car Battery

Tesla announced in 2019 it would bring a 1 million mile car battery to the market in 2020. Signs are that progress is being made.

[] – Is Tesla A Step Closer To The 1 Million-Mile Battery?

Storage the Big Picture

Thermal Storage with Norbornadiene-Quadricyclane

MSM – Molecular Storage Material, L-PCM – Localized Phase-Change Material

University of Houston proposed a new solar thermal battery:

Efficient solar thermal energy harvesting and storage are critical steps toward utilizing the abundant solar irradiation that reaches the surface of the earth. Current solar thermal approaches rely on costly high optical concentration systems, leading to high heat losses by hot bulk materials and surfaces. At the same time, the energy stored in the form of thermal energy has inherently large temporal losses. Here, we combine the physics of molecular energy and latent heat storage to introduce an integrated, simultaneous harvesting and storage hybrid paradigm for potential 24/7 energy delivery. The hybrid paradigm utilizes heat localization during the day to provide a harvesting efficiency of 73% at small scale and ∼90% at large scale. Remarkably, at night, the stored energy by the hybrid system is recovered with an efficiency of 80% and at a higher temperature than that of the day, in contrast to all of the state-of-the-art systems.

[] – Full Spectrum Solar Thermal Energy Harvesting and Storage by a Molecular and Phase-Change Hybrid Material

[] – New Hybrid Device Can Both Capture and Store Solar Energy

Largest Windturbine in the World Operational in Rotterdam

Haliade-X, 12 MW, French-built, General Electric. Generates sufficient electricity for a town of 16,000 homes. Will go in production in 2021 after completion of the test series in Rotterdam Harbor, in the Netherlands.

[] – Haliade-X 12 MW offshore wind turbine platform
[] – GE Unveils Operation Haliade-X 12 MW
[Google Maps] – Location Haliade-X
[] – Openingsceremonie op toekomstige locatie voor prototype Haliade-X 12 MW in Rotterdam

European Golden Decade 2010-2020

Germany, as a distinct culture circle, exists for more than 1000 years, yet in the past decade they managed to add ca. 30% to their income. Most other European countries did also well, Holland even better.

Both German #1 “paper” MSM der Spiegel, as well as Dutch banking giant ING, evaluate the decade that is now coming to an end and come to the same conclusion: it was a “golden decade”.

But both institutions suspect that the coming decade won’t be as golden and we agree.

[] – Mehr Wohlstand, weniger Überstunden

[] – List of countries by current account balance

The surplus countries in the current account balance overview below are most Europeans (including Russia), Japan and China…

…where the Anglo countries (and France) are the countries with the largest deficit:

This is a clear indication that the political and economic center of gravity is moving away from Anglosphere towards Eurasia. Anglo-supremacy will be seen in hindsight as stretching from 1815-2016, from the Battle of Waterloo and the steam engine to Brexit and Trump. The West is as good as over.

Offshore Wind: Can the US Catch up with Europe?

[source] The red area between England, Holland, Germany and Denmark is shallow water, where monopiles can be installed and combined with excellent average wind speed, is ideal for wind power.

Key Findings:

 Europe has more than 90 percent of the world’s total installed offshore wind capacity, and will continue to
dominate the offshore wind market for years to come.

 Differing estimates say Europe will have 23.5 – 40 GW of offshore wind by 2020, and 43.8 – 150 GW by 2030.

 The United States is expected to ramp up its deployment of offshore wind—with three gigawatts of offshore wind by 2020, 22 GW by 2030, and 86 GW by 2050—which will spur the development of a U.S. supply chain.

 China, Japan, South Korea, India, and Taiwan all have ambitious offshore wind targets, adding up to 35 GW of new offshore wind capacity by 2020.

 European companies have decades of experience installing offshore wind farms, and stand to gain the most from offshore wind’s global expansion.

[] – Offshore Wind: Can the United States Catch up with Europe?

US Nord Stream Sanctions Fallout

The president of the “Great Satan”, Trump, has implemented sanctions against the German-Russian Nord Stream pipeline project, entirely in the mold of Brzezinski’s Grand Chessboard, in an effort to ensure that Europe and Russia don’t get too cosy with each other. In response the Dutch-Swiss contractor Allseas has withdrawn from the project, with an eye on the numerous ties it has with the US and work in the Gulf of Mexico in particular.

[] – Nord Stream
[] – The Grand Chessboard
[] – Company site
[] – Nord Stream 2 to press on with Europe gas pipe
[] – ‘Interference in domestic affairs’: Germany fumes at US sanctions on Nord Stream 2 pipeline
[] – ‘Sanctions just a hiccup’: Nord Stream 2 will be completed, & US knows it but cannot bear the thought – former US diplomat

So, what is going to happen next? Will Germany and Russia just roll over and accept defeat? Of course not! Here is what could be the solution to a minor problem, namely hiring a ship from a country that already is under sanctions, RUSSIA!

[] – FORTUNA, Pipelay Crane VesselPipelay Crane Vessel

The Pipelay vessel Audacia of Allseas, that constructed 1800 km pipeline, with the last 300 km missing.

Andrew Dessler and Fred Singer Talk About Climate Change

[] – Andrew Dessler (conformist)
[] – Introduction to Modern Climate Change

[] – Fred Singer (skeptic)
[] – Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years

Read more…

IBM Presents Cobalt-Free Battery Technology

Advantages new battery technology according to IBM:

  • Lower cost: The active cathode materials tend to cost less because they are free of cobalt, nickel, and other heavy metals. These materials are typically very resource-intensive to source, and also have raised concerns over their sustainability.
  • Faster charging: Less than five minutes required to reach an 80 percent state of charge (SOC), without compromising specific discharge capacity.
  • High power density: More than 10,000 W/L. (exceeding the power level that lithium-ion battery technology can achieve).
  • High energy density: More than 800 Wh/L, comparable to the state-of-art lithium-ion battery.
  • Excellent energy efficiency: More than 90 percent (calculated from the ratio of the energy to discharge the battery over the energy to charge the battery).
  • Low flammability of electrolytes

[] – Free of Heavy Metals, Battery Could Alleviate Environmental Concerns
[] – IBM’s cobalt-free EV battery uses materials extracted from seawater

3D-Printed Home for $4000,-

Cheap printed home from Austin, Texas. Real promise for the third world.

3D-printing opening up the possibility that by the turn of the century, most people on this planet, including territories such as Africa, India and the Philippines, could live in a stone, 3D-printed home, connected to sewage, a local solar power source.

The financial and technological push for this should come from Eurasia, in return for a rigorous birth control program: 2 children and not more. The way to provide these territories with the financial means to pay for it, is to integrate them in a global energy scheme. Sunny territories with an abundance of cheap labor should provide a sizable chunk of the planet’s future hydrogen needs.

[] – Construction 3D printing

Printed home in Nantes, France

[] – The world’s first family to live in a 3D-printed home

In Eindhoven in the South of the Netherlands, houses are to be printed, intended to be sold on the regular commercial market. The innovation is that the homes will have several stories (English subs))

[] – A small community of 3D-printed concrete houses is coming to the Netherlands

Europe’s first 3D-concrete printing factory opened in Eindhoven. Interesting is that traditional wooden molds are no longer necessary and that far less cement is being used. Steel concrete enforcement can be printed too.

Very large-scale 3D-printing project in Den Helder in the Netherlands, where a shabby building from the seventies is being upgraded with ca. 1,200 new 3D-printed concrete elements of 2 to 12 m2 each.

First 3D-printed home in Africa (Morocco)

Read more…

Mark P. Mills – Hack for the Fossil Fuel Industry

Every now and then you need to lend voice to your opponents and expose their (false) arguments to help make your case. Here we have Mark P. Mills from the Manhattan Institute, trying to make his case, namely that efforts to establish a 100% renewable energy base, as agreed upon in the Paris Accords and spearheaded by Europe, can’t work. Depressingly, this gentleman was named “Energy Writer of the Year” by the American Energy Society. We have linked to three of his articles below.

First he attacks renewable efforts by claiming that “batteries are unsuitable as a storage solution”, which is entirely correct. The point is that nobody worth his energy salt is making that claim. Here is what our renewable betters at the German Fraunhofer institute have to say about a possible 100% renewable energy solution for Germany:

[source] Blueprint for a 100% renewable energy base for Germany

From the Fraunhofer model we learn that in a 100% renewable energy base, most storage comes from hydrogen (“power-to-gas”) and seasonal storage of hot water and that mr Mills’ batteries (as well as pumped hydro-storage) can only play a marginal role. Thermal storage is fed by a mix of solar thermal and electric heat pumps.

Storage capacity:

Category Capacity (TWh)
Thermal 187
Hydrogen 179
Biomass 50
Batteries 9
Pumped hydro 7

The exact numbers will vary for different countries, but for European nations like Holland, Denmark and Britain, this will be the general picture. Sparsely populated mountainous Nordic countries like Canada, Norway and Sweden in contrast will have to rely on hydro-power and have far less (additional) energy storage needs; the existing drainage-basins are the storage.

But these insights are lost om mr Mills, “US-energy-writer-of-the-year-2016”. In his article in “” he refers 21 times to batteries and exactly ZERO to hydrogen. In debating clubs this type of reasoning is known as a straw-man: attacking your opponent by attacking an argument your opponent didn’t make. What mr Mills really wants is frack North-America, ‘Till Kingdom Comes’.

“Frack you, mr Mills!”, we already hear Greta Thunberg saying and we can’t help but agree.

[source] Iconic, but little over-the-top Greta Thunberg

[] – If You Want ‘Renewable Energy,’ Get Ready to Dig
[] – 41 Inconvenient Truths on the “New Energy Economy”
[] – Batteries Cannot Save the Grid or the Planet
[] – Mark P. Mills

[deepresource] – Prejudices From Amateurs Against Wind Energy
(What’s that fascination with the number of “41” anyway with American dissers of renewable energy?)

Below you will find 41 comments (rebuttals) to the 41 thesis mr Mills made in his article “41 Inconvenient Truths on the “New Energy Economy”:

1. Hydrocarbons supply over 80 percent of world energy: If all that were in the form of oil, the barrels would line up from Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles, and that entire line would grow by the height of the Washington Monument every week.

I’m impressed mr Mills. But I have some impressive renewable energy statistics as well:

The yellow area represents the magnitude of annual solar energy reaching earth. It is larger than the cumulative energy contained in all fossil and nuclear energy consumed throughout human history.

An area the size of Bulgaria plastered with solar panels would suffice to replace all energy consumed globally today. It can be done. In the end of the day neither Mill’s stacked barrels of oil, nor our solar chart are decisive. Decisive are they price of energy per kWh, where price includes ALL costs: financial and environmental. In 2019 the situation is such that wind and solar are the cheapest way to produce a ‘raw kWh’, even without susidies, no matter what Mills says. However, the real challenge is to find a cost-effective way to buffer these cheap kWh’s. We are not there yet, but the entire world minus Mark P. Mills are working on it.

Read more…

“Renewable Hydrogen Already Cost Competitive”

Calculated “break-even price” of renewable hydrogen for Germany (left) and Texas (right) compared to benchmark prices for hydrogen supply from fossil fuels not using CCS. For Germany, this assumes a waiving of the requirement for subsidies that renewable electricity be fed into the grid. The peak in 2020 for Texas is due to a phasing out of the production tax credit (PTC), a fixed credit per kWh of produced electricity. [Source: Glenk & Reichelstein (2019)].

Conclusion of a study, published in “Nature”, about the cost of hydrogen, obtained through electrolysis, powered by renewable electricity:

renewable hydrogen is already cost competitive in niche applications (€3.23 kg−1), although not yet for industrial-scale supply. This conclusion, however, is projected to change within a decade (€2.50 kg−1) provided recent market trends continue in the coming years.

[] – Economics of converting renewable power to hydrogen (source)
[] – Renewable hydrogen “already cost competitive”, says new research

Between 2010-17 a Windier World Brought 17% Extra Wind Power

Study carried out by Princeton and published in Nature, and based on data from 1,400 weather stations in North-America, Europe and Asia. One cause is temperature and increased pressure.

[] – A reversal in global terrestrial stilling and its implications for wind energy production
[] – The world is getting windier and it could mean a big boost for alternative energy

Charging Your Car in Ten Minutes is Underway


If this were to happen the hydrogen-fuel proponents would lose a major argument in favor of their trade.

The reason why charging is so slow is to prevent damage to the batteries, keyword “lithium plating”. Short story:

[researchers] have now found that if the batteries could heat to 60C (140F) for just 10 minutes and then rapidly cool again to ambient temperatures, lithium spikes would not form and heat damage would be avoided.

The battery design they have come up with is self-heating, using a thin nickel foil which creates an electrical circuit that heats in less than 30 seconds to warm the inside of the battery.

The rapid cooling that would be needed after the battery is charged would be done using the cooling system designed into the car.

Research: Wuhan/China, Stanford/USA.

[] – Charge your electric car in just TEN MINUTES: Engineers develop new fast-charging technique that will allow drivers to add 200 miles to the range of their vehicles in the time it takes to get a cup of coffee and use the toilet

[] – Design of Red Phosphorus Nanostructured Electrode for Fast-Charging Lithium-Ion Batteries with High Energy Density

[] – What is Lithium Plating?

Lithium plating is the formation of metallic lithium around the anode of lithium-ion batteries during charging. Plating, also called deposition, can cause these rechargeable batteries to malfunction over time.

SolidEnergy and Their Hermes Battery Cell

The storage company SolidEnergy has a battery based on Li-Metal. Storage density after 120 cycles: 0.40 kWh/kg. The battery is so light that a glider with solar cells and Hermes batteries can remain in the skies for ever.

[] – Company site
[] – Data sheet Hermes pack
[] – Meet Qichao Hu

Autonomous E-Busses in Hamburg, Utah and Finland

Stefan Reichelstein: Solar Energy’s Bright Future

[] – Stefan Reichelstein

[] – Economics of converting renewable power to hydrogen

The recent sharp decline in the cost of renewable energy suggests that the production of hydrogen from renewable power through a power-to-gas process might become more economical. Here we examine this alternative from the perspective of an investor who considers a hybrid energy system that combines renewable power with an efficiently sized power-to-gas facility. The available capacity can be optimized in real time to take advantage of fluctuations in electricity prices and intermittent renewable power generation. We apply our model to the current environment in both Germany and Texas and find that renewable hydrogen is already cost competitive in niche applications (€3.23 kg⁻¹), although not yet for industrial-scale supply. This conclusion, however, is projected to change within a decade (€2.50 kg⁻¹) provided recent market trends continue in the coming years.

[] – Hydrogen Economy

Siemens eHighway

Seven year old Siemens video

It already works for trains and trolleybuses, so why not for trucks as well? Trucks powered by overhead-wires. A test stretch has been build near Frankfurt, on the A5-motorway between Langen and Weiterstadt.

[] – eHighway – Electrification of road freight transport
[] – Germany Launches eHighway Project
[Google Maps] – Location

Sweden apparently has an eHighway as well.

[] – World’s first electric road opens in Sweden

Developments in Offshore Wind Jack-Up Market

New offshore wind installation mega-vessel “Voltaire”, able to lift 3,000 ton, ordered by Jan de Nul, Belgium, scheduled to become operational in 2022.

According to Bloomberg there are merely a dozen ships in the world that can install a large offshore wind turbine, which is understandable with a list price of ca. 300 million euro per ship. Currently almost all these vessels are operating in European waters. Europe is uniquely blessed with ca. 600,000 km2 shallow water with high wind speeds (North Sea, Baltic and Irish Sea, together an area larger than France) that can be utilized for offshore wind, in principle enough to supply the entire EU (300 GW on average), three-five times over.

[deepresource] – The Giants of a New Energy Age
[deepresource] – European Wind Energy Potential
[deepresource] – The Enormous Energy Potential of the North Sea
[deepresource] – Unleashing Europe’s Offshore Wind Potential 2030

Principle offshore wind installation vessel illustrated. About one turbine foundation can be realized per day or 4 per week, if fetching a new batch in port is included. The next generation is 10 MW, 13 MW is in the pipeline. Take the Netherlands: 13 GW average electricity consumption. That could be covered by 1,000 wind turbines, or 2,000 rather, if a conservative capacity factor of 50% for large turbines is taken into account. That’s 500 weeks or 10 years installation time. So, a single ship can realize the electricity transition of a country like Holland in a decade. For 100% renewable primary energy we need to calculate twice the amount of electricity consumed today, that’s only two decades! Productivity could be significantly enhanced if a simple cheap barge and tugboat is used to fetch a new batch of 4-6 monopiles from the harbor in Rotterdam, Vlissingen or Eemshaven, while the expensive installation vessel Aeolus merrily hammers away full-time. In that case 4,000 13 MW turbines could be installed in 4,000 days or 11 years. Note that in the mean time a lot of additional solar and onshore wind capacity has been, c.q. will be built. In conclusion: this single ship Aeolus is able to complete the energy transition of the Netherlands, the #17 in the global GDP ranking before 2030, not 2050 as the EU demands. Most likely developing sufficient storage capacity will be the real bottleneck, not electricity generation capacity.

1600 GW waiting to be raked in. EU average power consumption 300 GW. The old continent has no conventional fossil fuel reserves worth mentioning, fortunately Europe doesn’t need to. Armed with the Paris Climate Accords, Europe effectively dissed everybody else his fossil fuel reserves and is offering a viable alternative instead.

Some recent developments in the fields of offshore jack-up vessels:

[] – Offshore Wind Will Need Bigger Boats. Much Bigger Boats
[] – Vessels and platforms for the emerging wind market (pdf, 108p)
[] – DEME’s giant installation vessel ‘Orion’ launched in China
[] – A2SEA Invests in a New Jack-up Vessel
[] – Construction Progressing for Next Gen Vessel
[] – Offshore Vessels Demand for Offshore Wind Activities
[] – Jan de Nul orders new installation vessel
[] – Getting ready for the next generation of offshore wind projects
[] – Jan De Nul Orders Mega Jack-Up
[] – Massive hike by Wind Turbine Installation Vessel Market
[] – Japan joins offshore wind jack-up brigade
[] – Wind Tower Service Firm Plans to Build Jones Act Ships
[] – New design jack-up vessels to strengthen Ulstein’s offshore wind ambitions
[] – Flurry US offshore vessel deals prepares market for huge turbines

Transition Physics

Clean Energy Wiki also known as “Center for Materials and Devices for Information Technology Research (CMDITR)Photonics Wiki”
This wiki is a reference collection on clean energy, organic photovoltaics, research in photonics, and organic electronics.

The bulk of the collection was created by the Center for Materials and Devices for Information Technology Research -NSF Grant #0120967.

The Photonicswiki is now being administered by the University of Washington Clean Energy Institute (CEI) and is transitioning to the Clean Energy Wiki with the addition of new solar materials, energy storage and grid integration topics. Legacy photonics content will be maintained because there is a productive overlap in and fundamental science and the tools.

[] – Clean Energy Wiki

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